The tremolo effect is a rock ’n’ roll staple. Varying the volume of a signal up and down at regular intervals, it has been used by many crafty songwriters to add texture and motion to their pieces, creating countless hits that feature the effect as a signature, defining element.

The MXR Tremolo welcomes the beloved effect back into its ranks, and it comes equipped with six different waveforms and a bevy of features for advanced players, from stereo operation to tap tempo and expression pedal functionality to attack-sensitive envelope tremolo. It all comes in a single MXR housing.

Check out the MXR Tremolo in action below. 

THE WAVEFORMS

The MXR Tremolo’s six waveforms represent the most popular methods used over the years to produce the tremolo effect—and then some.

MXR

The MXR Tremolo’s first setting is an exact recreation of the M159 MXR Stereo Tremolo. Originally designed to emulate the tremolo of vintage amplifiers, the rich tone and organic pulse of that pedal became a sought-after sound in its own right.

If you dig tremolo with a healthy side of distortion, then you’ll be well-served by the MXR setting. In this clip, we’ve paired it with the very versatile, highly responsive MXR Super Badass™ Distortion—listen to how those vibrant pulses respond to high-gain, rock-ready harmonic content.

Gain pedals such as overdrive, distortion, and fuzz are staples of the modern player’s pedalboard. The range of tones and textures that they produce can be heard in just about every form of music, and they each have their own way of saturating your tone with rich harmonic content at varying degrees off combustibility. But what happens when you stack—or combine—them together? With the right pedals and settings, you can create a whole ’nother spectrum of shades and overtones that’s greater than the sum of its parts. This article will explore some of the ways that you can do just that, complete with examples to feast your ears on.

First, Some Tips

Gain is an unruly beast that’s always looking to break free. With multiple sources in your signal chain, you’ll need to be more attentive to various other elements wrangle the best sounds possible from your setup. A clean amp will make your job easier, for example, so that you can control all of the gain at the pedal level. And some pedals are just sound better together than others—if you find yourself spending hours trying to make two specific pedals play nice with each other, it might be time to swap one of them out and try a different combination. When you do find pedals that sound great together, remember that the last pedal in the gain stack is going to have the biggest impact on your tone and volume level.

The Bass Freq’s Podcast, hosted by experienced recording and touring bass player Josh Paul (Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves, Daughtry), features in-depth discussions with some of the top bassists working today. 

As the co-founding bass player and primary songwriter of Motley Crue, Nikki Sixx was the foundation of one of the most iconic rock bands to come out of the 1980s. Recently, he sat down to talk with Bass Freq’s host Josh Paul, and we’re super excited to share that conversation with you here. Nikki took Josh on a journey through his whole story, from his start in Idaho to the barroom floors, stages, and backseats of cop cars in Los Angeles, to his unique approach to bass playing and songwriting, how he’s managed to survive in the industry, and a whole lot of gear talk among other fascinating topics.

The Bass Freq’s Podcast is available wherever you listen to podcasts—subscribe so that you can hear all of our episodes featuring intriguing and inspiring guests.

Creating the sound you want isn’t just about which pedals you have—it’s also about where you place them. Pedals interact with your instrument signal and with each other in different ways depending on where they are in your signal chain, opening you up to a ton of opportunities for tweaking and customizing your tone output. While you should experiment as much as you have the patience for, we want to give you some guideposts to follow so that you have an easier time choosing what goes where in your quest for the perfect sound.

The MXR Tap Tempo Switch allows you to change your pedal settings on the fly. If you have pedals with an output for an off-board switch, then you can use this super compact little box to control time-based effects, toggle specific parameters, and more. And it comes in a super compact housing that’s built to take a beating on the road.

With the MXR Tap Tempo Switch at your feet, you won’t need to be fumbling around on your pedalboard in the middle of a song. Here’s a look at just some of the things it can do.